Three arrested for attack on Amarnath yatris
: Nearly a month after eight Amarnath pilgrims were killed during a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Pahalgam area, the state police on Sunday said that they have cracked the case.
"Ismail, a Pakistani terrorist of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) along with two other associates and a local Kashmiri terrorist carried out the attack," IGP (Kashmir) Munir Khan said while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.
Another terrorist in the group of four had been identified as Yawar, a local recruiter for the LeT, the police said. Efforts are on to identify the other two, believed to be Pakistanis.
The police also released pictures of Abu Ismail and Yawar.
He also said that the attack was "initially planned for July 9, but that day there was no movement of CRPF or yatri vehicle in isolation."
Giving details about the attack, the IGP said, "Three locals provided logistical support to the terrorists. All of the accused have been arrested and produced before the court, currently under police remand."
"During the investigation the accused completely revealed everything about the modus operandi of the terror attack," he said, adding, "They had code word 'Shaukat' for yatri vehicle and 'Bilal' for CRPF vehicle. It was purely a terrorist act."
"There was yatri vehicle that day so they attacked it, had there been CRPF vehicle they would've attacked that, they had planned it."
The three "co-conspirators"– Bilal Ahmed Reshi, Aizaj Wagey and Zahoor Ahmed –had carried out reconnaissance exercises and chosen Botengo near Khanbal as the spot where the attack could be carried out, the IGP said.
The trio had also provided shelter to the four militants in Khudwani and Sriguffwara of south Kashmir, he said.
Bilal's elder brother Adil, an alleged Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist, was killed by security forces earlier this year.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police had constituted a SIT led by Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir ) Swayam Prakash Pani to probe the attack on the pilgrims.